Today is the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, and part of his letter to the Romans caught me in the Office of Readings, as he pleads for his right to be martyred:
Let me be food for wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God's wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ's pure bread.
All drama aside, here's someone who really understood the eucharist. In it we celebrate who we really are, and become what we receive: the Body of Christ. And what is the Body of Christ but a body that gives itself for others.
So in our celebration of the Eucharist we both celebrate that God has enabled us to be people who give themselves up for others, and are strengthened for continued transformation into the self-sacrificing Body of Christ we receive.